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How to gloss a manuscript : the view from Milan ( Bobbio )

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How to gloss a manuscript : the view from Milan ( Bobbio ). Aaron Griffith University of Vienna. Introduction I. Fact: There is extensive Old Irish glossing of Latin texts. This fact presents an opportunity: Each language can inform our understanding of the other. - PowerPoint PPT Presentation
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How to gloss a manuscript: the view from Milan (Bobbio) Aaron Griffith University of Vienna
  • How to gloss a manuscript: the view from Milan (Bobbio)

    Aaron GriffithUniversity of Vienna

  • Introduction IFact: There is extensive Old Irish glossing of Latin texts.

    This fact presents an opportunity:Each language can inform our understanding of the other.

    This fact also presents a challenge:How do we determine what is real Old Irish?How do we determine what is real (Hiberno-)Latin?*

  • Introduction IISome recent work focuses on glossing as a phenomenon in its own right:

    Jacopo Bisagni (Galway): examining code-switching between Latin and Old Irish.

    Alderik Blom (Oxford): examining Psalm glossing in Northwestern Europe (Germanic and Celtic)*

  • My intended contribution hereMy intention here is to:present various techniques used to gloss Latin in the Milan MS (Bibliotheca Ambrosiana C. 301 infra).compare (when relevant) these techniques to native grammatical use.

    I hope to offer: rules the scribes employed when glossing.some thoughts on how they thought when glossing.*

  • Preliminaries: the Milan glossesThe Manuscript:from the early to mid 9th century.a psalm commentary together with several prefaces.

    The commentary:Julian of Eclanums (c. 386 c. 455) translation of Theodore of Mopsuestias (c. 350 428) Greek commentary (to Ps. 16 v. 10).summary of Julians translation of Theodore (to Ps. 16 v. 11).

    The Glosses: text is fairly heavily glossed in both Latin and Old Irish.*

  • Some general observations on glossesGloss types:Translational / Clarificational Glossessingle wordshort phrase or sentenceInterpretative / Explanatory Glossesgenerally somewhat longer (at least a clause or sentence)On interpretative / explanatory glossing:grammaticaltheological (see McNamara, The Psalms in the Early Irish Church. Sheffield (2000).)very frequently a historical interpretation of the psalmssometimes concerned with variant textual readings*

  • Glossing techniques to discuss (see Thes I xxi)Various single word / case glosses:e.g. Latin ablative by OIr. prep. e.g. Lat. alligo (=allego) by OIr. conrig / asindetLatin Participles Present activeFuture and perfect passiveLatin Infinitivesindirect discourseother contextsRelativesGender of items not mentioned explicitly in Old Irish (e.g. Adjectives)Note: Treatment of quotations not discussed here (see L. Breatnach, On the citation of words and a use of the neuter article in Old Irish riu 41, 1990)*

  • Various single word / case glosses OIr. as catch-all gloss for Latin ablative:55b8 INDUANTUR CONFUSSIONE8 horuccu by disgrace48a5 qua oratione infirmitatis su tempore sit Ezechias ussurus5 honerberad biuth which he would usecf. regular (?) OIr. construction 86d12 .i. sechip ed arabera biuth i.e. whatever it is that a man consumesLatin alligo bind (= allego adduce, allege)glossed conrig binds in 21b7-8, 23c12glossed asindet relates in 23c12, 101a3, 111c5glossed adft relates in 118d10see Griffith Varia I riu 59, 2009 (153-154) for brief discussion*

  • Latin Participles I: Present active Participlesglossed with a relative form: 26b9 psalmum stupentis9 uoce conclusit dicendo mothaigedar which is amazed (cf. 96b12, 102b11, 122a12, 140b5)

    glossed with aN when:2d3 quia igitur nuper cum Ebreo disputans3 arrucestaigser frissinnebride when you (sg) disputed with the Hebew (cf. 14d8, 15d10, 17b16)


  • Latin Participles II: Future active (gerundive)Usually glossed with copula (usually in past subj.) and verbal of nec.:79c1 profanamque prosperitatem emitandam1 non putetis bed n intamaltai that it should be imitated64c3 quanta etiam perficiat miranda3 innahi ata adamraigthi the things that are to be admiredMinor patterns (with lase / aN when, prep. doL, coL + full verb, vn.): 15d7 non discutiendi7 anambet ecailsi when they will not be to be examined (also 61b1, 63c3, 72b13)53c5 quia ad gustandum5 prouocauerat .i. dumlassacht etarcni d i.e. to taste the knowledge of God (also 63a10)54d14 ad interficiendum m14 celerabant coetardamdibitisse in order that they might destroy me (also 55b2, 60c6)62a19 ad inpetrandi19 autem facilitatem loichtho of obtaining (also 62c11)*

  • Latin Participles III: Past passive participle

    usually glossed with OIr. past passive participle:

    14c13 in malorum fuga uedeatur exposita13 latharde expounded

    18c14 temporis quo Abisoln inuasso14 ambanindrisse when it was invaded*

  • Latin infinitives (according to Thes I xxi)indirect discourse: glossed by an indicative with nasalizing relative36d10 etiam per id uoluit adprobare quod Deo dicit persequente suos aduersarios interisse10 asindbathatar that they died (also 25c15)

    other infinitives: glossed by subjunctive with nasalizing relative30b12 uult {dauid} autem indicare12 quod eo qui in templo habitet defensore utatur inf that he might point out (also 15a10, 20a9)


  • Indirect discourse in Old Irishgeneral case: introduced by a simple nasalizing relative (GOI p 318 503(g))24d25 asberat immurgu heritic asned dechur tabadar [leg. tadbadar] isindsin heretics, however, say that this is the difference that is shown therein (cf. 57c4)49b13 .i. durumenar romsa dia i.e. I thought I was a godspecial case: introduced by nasalizing subjunctive when required by subord. clause (GOI p 330 518 (e), p 333 520, 2)125c2 .i. asrubart dia hi recht n arasechitis athimnae i.e. that is, God had said in the Law that they should follow His commandments*

  • OIr. glosses of Latin infinitives in indirect discourseThes assumes indicative is regular. Basically correct:25c15 nam Dominus in Euangelio qu inter principia psalmi dicta sunt prsentis sibi competere15 demonstrat immindaircet that they are appropriate36d10 etiam per id uoluit adprobare quod Deo dicit persequente suos aduersarios interisse10 asindbathatar that they died (also 54c21, 54c24, 60a3)However, they note:14d16 cui etiam beatitudinem credit15 rite competere16 15 erbaid he entrusts16 immandairi that it might be appropriateProbably to be explained through the occasional use of the subjunctive in such clauses, as noted by Thurneysen.


  • Other Latin infinitives glossed by Old IrishThese are regularly found with the subjunctive:56a4 hominem rationis ussu et tui notitia prstare4 fecisti doroscea that he is pre-eminent 56b39 noli emulari siue mirari39 adnamraigther .i. nonetaigther .i. adcosnae son no no carae that you admire i.e. that you emulate i.e. that is, that you strive after or love 62b12 ferre12 uix possum folls that I endure (also 25a5, 61a11, 62a12)

    Frequently, the form is ambiguous: 63c4 cupimus gloriari4 nundan mrthar that we be magnified


  • Other Latin infinitivesInfrequently, the indicative is used:

    24c14 ut uelut degito extento Achitofel indicare14 uideatur incoisged he used to indicate

    61a16 ab hs qui in terra sunt eum faciet honorari16 arammuinfetar feid huili doini talman trissa nadamrae sin i.e. that all men of the earth will be honored through that marvel

    The explanation for the indicative in these examples is unclear.*

  • Old Irish versions of other Latin infinitives I:Most often such constructions appear with a verbal noun: 27b15 ad cobratsidi cumscugud ferc d dothabairt digle taransi they desire the stirring of the anger of God to inflict vengeance for them; 98a4 intan as n accubur linn n duthabairt do neuch when we have a desire to give something to some one; 51a19 arnatomnad nech aepert do som bed necen donaib hulib anglanad i.e. that no one might suppose him to say that it was necessary for all to be purified23a5 n cumcat aithirgi ndodenum they cannot work repentance*

  • Old Irish versions of other Latin infinitives II:Less often, such constructions take an embedded verb:

    21b9 isecen dam sn nondages daitsiu it is necessary for me that I ask You (sg) for them

    24d14 nic domberthar forceill dintitul a testimony about the title may be given

    The verb is subjunctive in these cases. This does not help explain the anomalous uses of the indicative when glossing the Latin.


  • Relatives and interrogatives IDirect cases (nom. / acc.):As interrogative:34d5 quis dabit ex Sion salutem Israhel?ut subaudiatur5 intan asmbeirsom cia dobera c dosin when he says, who will give salvation from Zion?35a6 quid nos ad hc adferemus6? cidasindisem what shall we declare?As relative:14b1 qui templum Dei spoliauit1 dochoimarraig who has stripped20c8 qu munera su bonitatis inpertit8 fundali which he distributes*

  • Relatives and interrogatives IIOblique cases in Latin are usually translated with Latinisms (GOI p 288 460):16a9 ad quem9 ciaduneuch who is it to whom (also 33a9, 93a16)17b23 quomodo23 ciachruth asrobar what is the manner in which it can be said23b2 in quibus malis2 cia inolcaib in which evilsSometimes such examples are corrected to native Grammar:97a5 cuius temporis facta5 cisi aimser hiforcomnactar ingnimai n that is, what is the time in which the deeds took place


  • Reference to items not mentioned in the OIr. (esp. Adjectives)

    Thes I xxi notes 73d14: unde citum14 et efficax sperat auxilium din swiftdin (acc. sg. fem. of dan) must refer to OIr. fortacht (f ) not Lat. auxilium (n o)Thes claims this is found in isolated adjectives.

    Question: how regular and wide-spread is this phenomenon?*

  • Matches between Latin and OIr.Adjective reflects the Latin case:36b4 admota4 percunctatione roitiu set in motion61b13: ficts13 uerbs doilbthib feigned80c11: casats11 insidis fochrataib .i. madachaib shaken, i.e. ineffectual90d6: remisa6 studia laxa laxalso 31c13, 32b12, 36b9, 38c17, 80b8Adjective does not reflect the Latin case:19a2 (?): ereptum2 restituas inerchelltae the one taken away59d4: omni cura4 abiecta domondae worldly


  • Mismatches between Latin and Old Irish IWords that show the gender of the (unnamed) OIr. word:16c11 quando sol reuocatus est per ea spatia qu fuerat emensus11 ithesidi dorumadirsi it is these that it (fem.) had measured sol is masc., but OIr. gran is fem.; hence si it

    36b9 insperata9 morte subduci nephfrescestu unexpected mors (fem.), but OIr. bs (nt.), hence dat. sg. masc. frescestu

    63a16 ultor uiuolate [leg. uiolatae]16 Legis illidi corrupted lex is fem., but OIr. recht is masc., hence gen. sg. masc. illidi

    also 29c1 and 36b4*

  • Mismatches between Latin and Old Irish IIThere are ambiguous cases, where the Latin and OIr. have the same gender.50c3 salutem daturus3 an dundaberae when You (sg) will give it (salus and cc both feminine); see also 131c7

    Most cases are formally ambiguous:132c9 fribulas [leg. friuulas]9 fabulas cuitbedcha ridiculous acc. pl. nt. (OIr. scl n o) or fem. (Lat. fabula f ); cf. 35b20 and 86b3, where scl glosses fabula

    see also 40c9, 42c9, 51b26, 57d16, 58b7, 59b13, d4, 60b10, 66d20, 71d3, 74c2, 75a14, 15, 87b13a, b, 89c6, 94d26, 27, 94c6, 105d1, 116c4, 118b9, 121c15, 122b4, 125b5, 125d6, 126a12, 13, d7, 127a4, 12, 130b9, d6, 130d12, 134d4, d6, 138c16*

  • Conclusions from the glossing techniquesIt seems that the scribes frame of reference was Old Irish (especially clear from adjectives).

    The scribe matched the OIr. to the Latin syntax when possible. Something slightly ungrammatical sometimes resulted.

    This scenario fits with work on code-switching as discussed by Bisagni (Code-switching in the Wrzburg glosses? paper presented at Bilingualism and text transmission in medieval texts; Utrecht, 31 May 2013.)*

  • Code-switching in the glosses IBisagni shows that in the glosses Irish is most usually the matrix language into which Latin is embedded (~94%; opposite in ~5%).

    He also notes that the Matrix Language in such contexts is often the first language (which is not necessarily the one with higher prestige) (C. Myers-Scotton, 1998: Structural uniformities vs. community differences in codeswitching, in R. Jacobson (ed.), Codeswitching Worldwide, Berlin/New York, 91108.)

    Bisagni observes that Milan has relatively low rates of intra-clausal code-switching (~2%) relative to Wrzburg (~21%)*

  • Code-switching in the glosses IIThis low figure may simply be due to the nature of the Milan glosses, which have a very high rate of single word / phrase glosses.

    Perhaps the code-switching in Milan occurs not on the page, but rather in the scribes mind, i.e. before he writes.

    This seems quite clear in the case of adjectives agreeing with their (unexpressed) Old Irish noun, but it is also visible in the glossing of infinitives and relatives.*

  • The take-away

    I have exemplified various techniques used to gloss the Latin in the Milan glosses The techniques are mostly outlined in Thes I xxi.For adjective glossing I have provided a more detailed examination, since this is a particularly revealing area.

    These techniques seem to confirm a high level of functional bilingualism with Old Irish as the primary language.(P. Russell, What was best of every language: the early history of the Irish language, in D. O Croinin (ed.), A New History of Ireland: I. Prehistoric and Early Ireland, Oxford 2005, p. 447)


  • Thank you!*